Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital are using adult bone marrow stem cells as they investigate a completely new way of treating Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and heart failure. This is a critical breakthrough because CKD, especially in later stages can be a debilitating challenge. Treatments such as a strict diet and dialysis can be very difficult to contend with on a consistent basis. Also, many people with CKD often develop heart disease and in fact die from heart failure rather than kidney failure itself. These brand new results may offer an alternative way forward for the CKD Community.
In a paper published October 16th, 2013 in the journal Stem Cells Dr. Darren Yuen and Dr. Richard Gilbert said that they found that enriched bone marrow stem cells secrete hormones that have the same positive impact as regenerative stem cells when tested on trial rats. Although they do not yet know what kind of hormone the cells are secreting, they suggested that identifying the precise hormone would be the first major step toward their goal of developing a synthetic drug to treat and correct CKD and Heart Failure. "
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This research process has moved quickly as in 2010 they were unsure about the side effects of such an untraditional treatment including the possibility of forming tumors. Now they are confident with their findings and believe they are making significant strides to a viable treatment for those with CKD. "We've shown that we can use these hormones, collected in the dish, to replicate the beneficial effects of the stem cells in treating animals with chronic kidney disease and heart failure," said Dr. Yuen, a Nephrologist. "In our view, this is a significant advance for stem cell therapies because it gets around having to inject stem cells."
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KidneyBuzz.com encourages the CKD Community to maintain their optimism and faith as breakthroughs such as this are happening frequently. For instance, the Implantable Artificial Kidney Corporation, a private company that is developing an Artificial Kidney said, "We are making great progress, and we are extremely excited about its potential." They are expecting in-house testing to be completed within two weeks (as of September 24, 2013) and they will seek an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accredited lab test before beginning the first implant operation on a pig (their circulatory system is similar to a human's). "We feel that we are less than a year from this point." Hence, there are many reasons for people with CKD to have an informed sense of hope for the future.
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